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RealTime Economic Issues Watch

In RealTime posts, PIIE senior staff and colleagues discuss the fast-moving economic news, financial developments, and public policy choices confronting the United States and the world.

Recent Posts

How to Amend the Ukrainian Constitution

by | July 7th, 2014 | 04:32 pm

President Petro Poroshenko’s plan to amend the Ukrainian constitution is one of his top priorities. This makes sense, in part because of the broad consensus about the necessary changes. Regional governors should be elected, and regional administrations should be given more political and economic power. Russia’s demands for “federalization” of Ukraine should be seen as […]

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Assessing the EU Council Record: Cameron and Juncker May Work Well Together

by | July 2nd, 2014 | 10:16 am

The election of Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission was not the only accomplishment of EU leaders in late June. There were also important developments on other foreign and economic issues. British Prime Minister David Cameron and Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban were the only leaders to oppose Juncker [pdf]. Cameron, […]

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European Parliament: The Strength of “Anti” Parties Has Precedent

by | July 1st, 2014 | 11:11 am

The results of the European Parliament election of May 22–25 have been described as “a shock, an earthquake” by the French Prime Minister because of unprecedented gains by antiestablishment and in some cases xenophobic parties denouncing the European status quo. The long-term trends, however, indicate a different perspective. Much of the pan-European comment, as always, […]

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A Provisional Scorecard for Recent Modi Government Measures

by | June 30th, 2014 | 03:03 pm

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in mid-May with high expectations that it would strengthen India’s fragile macroeconomy and faltering investment and growth. An assessment this early is a little unfair. Additional major policy announcements will be made in the budget on July 10. But to its credit, the government has not […]

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Two Years Ago, Banking Union Was Euro Crisis Turning Point

by | June 27th, 2014 | 02:55 pm

Europe’s banking union, constituting a supranational pooling of most instruments of banking policy, was established two years ago, in the early hours of June 29, 2012. To a greater extent than was initially realized by most observers, this step marked a watershed in the European crisis by making it possible for the European Central Bank […]

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Three Myths about the Ex-Im Bank

by | June 25th, 2014 | 04:29 pm

Congress has begun holding hearings on the reauthorization of the US Export-Import Bank, which provides financing assistance to help US exports. TheEx-Im Bank’s charter expires in September. Three myths are being perpetuated by the new House majority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and other conservatives who would like to see the Ex-Im Bank closed. Below these myths […]

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Ensuring Legitimacy in the Selection of a New President of the European Commission

by | June 17th, 2014 | 04:51 pm

For the first time, a president of the European Commission is to be selected under the Lisbon Treaty, which stipulates that the candidate can be selected with a qualified majority, eliminating the ability of a single country to exercise a veto. In addition, the selection has to take into account the outcome of the European […]

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What’s Next for the European Parliament?

by | June 17th, 2014 | 04:26 pm

Former Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg is the center-right European People’s Party (EPP)’s candidate for president of the European Commission. He is thus the leading candidate for the position. But is he the right man for the job? And is the process of his selection the right one? Ideally, the EU Council—which comprises the […]

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Argentina’s Debts: US Supreme Court Sets New Ground Rules for Sovereign Debt Management Worldwide

by | June 17th, 2014 | 01:14 pm

On Monday, June 16, the US Supreme Court rang the curtain down on two key parts of the drama surrounding Argentina and its creditors, which had dragged on since the country’s debt default in 2001. First, the Court refused [pdf] to review decisions by the federal appeals court for the Second Circuit in New York, […]

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The IMF Was Right to Criticize UK Fiscal Policy

by | June 17th, 2014 | 10:43 am

British policymakers claim that the United Kingdom’s recent strong growth momentum vindicates the government’s strategy of harsh fiscal austerity after 2010, prompting Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, to apologize for getting it wrong. Her regret was not warranted, however. In a speech in Washington in April 2014, just as the IMF revised […]

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